Posts Tagged ‘art’

stick with it: life lessons through collage in long island city

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

gathered 'round for collage critique at the magical oracle club

on the first tuesday of every month, the oracle club in long island city opens its otherwise members-only doors to caris reid’s collage class. described as a whimsical evening,  each class is presented with a new theme to explore ranging from “iconoclasts” to “spirit animals”, or my assignment, “don’t be square”. caris provides unique, vintage, carefully combed material, a tightly curated grouping of images that fit the month’s theme. one week you might find gloved ladies from a 1950′s german fashion ad, brazen youth from a 1970s life magazine, or cloistered victorian photos. caris, an extremely talented painter as well as contributing editor for the arts & culture publication dossier journal, has said that it’s more about process than it is progress, and the intimate group session brings back the arts ‘n crafts of kindergarten, something i truly and actively miss. the space itself is enchanting too, a kind of whistler’s peacock room meets modern-day surrealist literary salon. in queens… just off the pulaski bridge.

hands on instruction

the proprietors, julian (a novelist) and jenna (a painter who, i would like to point out this superlative distinction, was commissioned by sofia coppola to create replicas of 18th century period portraits for her film marie antoinette), are on hand serving specialty cocktails and to man the record player. opened in december of 2011, the oracle is a workspace for artists and writers and an arts club generating a ton of buzz. on nights like these, they welcome a rotating cast of crafters, enticing us to relax and let our imaginations, scissors and gluesticks run free. the class was wonderful, inspiring and surprisingly challenging. challenging because i thought i’d be a natural and when i wasn’t,  i just want you to know that it sent me spiraling.

class aftermath

though my work does not appear here to protect what’s left of the author’s pride, the takeaways from collage class were surprisingly universal, transferable bits of wisdom germane to life in general and not just the folded up collage now near forgotten on my bedroom floor and days away from making the two ft. leap further into the recycling bin. we were talking about collages but we were really talking about our inner selves, weren’t we? class ended in a group critique where our wise instructor focused on the playful, brave, courageous choices made amongst us through color, texture and some “last minute decisions from the artist”. from caris i learned not to fear commitment (to glue) and that “you are going to have to commit sometime”. i learned to balance the expected with the unexpected, that editing is important. collage is so interesting because there are all these decisions that nobody else sees being made. sifting through patterns, shapes and textures, deciding to commit to a symmetrical moment or not, wide open spaces or none whatsoever. i confirmed a suspicion that editing is not my strong suit, nor is knowing when to put down the scissors and the glue.

special thanks to my partner in crafts & freshman year roommate for accompanying me.

classes are $20 at


lisa frank for grownups

Thursday, May 31st, 2012


friend:  stickers

me:  don’t worry about it

friend: what are you, 12


that is an actual g-chat conversation with a friend as i tried, and failed, recently to explain my excitement over the discovery i’m mere sentences away from revealing below. granted, the magic lies in the visual and words do not do my latest obsession an ounce of justice, but here, just look at this beauty (just forgive me the photograph).

those are stickers and this is art. meet artist payton cosell turner of flat vernacular, who creates elaborate sticker installations to meet a need you never knew you had. flat vernacular is a brooklyn-based design company that specializes in original hand-drawn, hand-printed, and bespoke wallpapers, and for all you design aficionados out there (or any child of the 80s who could boast of a robust and devotedly harvested sticker collection), i stoutly suggest checking them out.

i had actually been a big fan of payton’s “too much stuff” design long before i ever had this project on my radar or even knew the name attached to it. i became obsessed with her sticker concept in particular after seeing a house tour on a site called, featuring some unbelievable sticker panels in a brooklyn heights apartment that recently belonged to lena dunham (of hbo’s girls). from a distance, the stickers successfully look like intricately patterned wallpaper and i immediately did my homework to see how i could get my paws on some.

this sticker wallpaper falls under the “custom” umbrella of flat vernacular and is entirely unique. size, colors, intricacy of the design, and subject matter are the most important concerns and the entire process takes about 3 weeks. per their website, “keeping things on a smaller and more personal scale is very important to the craft as well as the spirit behind flat vernacular”, an ideal the markoff group relates to and believes in wholeheartedly. to begin the commission, i started off an email correspondence with the lovely payton and initiated my consultation for a singular sticker piece of my own. like the coolest pen-pal you’ve ever had, payton asked me about my interests and she incorporated some of those things in the sticker panel she created especially for me. if you look closely, you can see planets, taxicabs, tennis balls, movie tickets, musical instruments, ice-cream, pizza, and flowers. was she wrong to infer i would also enjoy animals,  daiquiris and walkie-talkies? not at all.

tiny stickers everywhere, like a cheerful, jamie-shaped constellation.


2011 holiday gift guide from your friends at the markoff group

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

while summer is still mid-swing for most, those of us here at the markoff group are well into planning next season’s gift guide to get a jump on the holidays. as the newest member of the markoff group family, i am thrilled to present to you the latest  flavors, scents, and styles coming out for fall and holiday 2011. thinking about gifts for the holidays might not have crossed into your  summer hazed mind yet, but with next season fast approaching, take an air-conditioned second to cool off and check out these creative gift ideas.

vosges haut-chocolat is offering a delicious selection including three new items, all top sellers. the least traditional is the “groove truffle collection,” pairing mouth watering truffles with toe tapping music. linnea’s lights is offering a fragrant  fall and winter line of scented soy candles that will warm up your home and without affecting your carbon footprint.  hester van eeghen (also a new member to the markoff group) has come out with a truly original selection of leather handbags and accessories. These vibrant colors will add a splash of life to any outfit. Hope this helps spark some fun ideas for the upcoming holiday season!


josé esteves and interiorconnector at intérieurs!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

a match made in heaven: josé esteves, interiorconnector and intérieurs are coming together for a night filled with ideas, sketches, vignettes. intérieurs’ showroom and design studio showcase modern-soulful living, inspired by founder francine gardner’s interest in world travel and cultures. no artist can possibly epitomize this worldly soulful modernity quite like josè esteves. a native of bragance, portugal, his elegant and expressive works evoke modernity and the antique. inspired by his hometown, esteves’s handcrafted pieces, constructed from objects he finds both precious and infused with meaning, are truly a balance between art and function.

so come to intérieurs’ elegant open-air terrace on wednesday, may 4th at six o’clock, sip some cocktails and get a glimpse into josé’s mind as you take in his new lighting art collection. this is not just an unveiling, but sculptures in context.



where: intérieurs showroom 228 e. 58th street, new york, ny 10022

when: wednesday, may 4th at 6:00pm